Brace yourself, Parisians! The Jet Set is about to  descend upon the city for yet another fashion week. This year’s Ready-to-Wear shows run from March 2-10, but as we all know, fashion week is about much more than just the shows themselves. It’s about exclusive parties, insider meetings, an endless flow of champagne, and looking ultra-stylish at all times. In other words, c’est trop fashion. (Yes, in Paris, we actually use the word “fashion” as an adjective).

For those of us not directly involved in the fashion industry, Fashion Week can inspire one of two reactions: 1) dress to the nines and try to get in on the action by talking your way past the velvet ropes (good luck!). Or 2) hunker down and keep a low profile until the mayhem subsides. Whether you’re an action-chaser or an action-avoider, we have some tips for you.

Fashion Week Paris 2010Photos: Photo Agency; Sojones.com; L’Express.com

Where the Action Is

During the day, head to the Tuileries, where many of the shows take place in tents (near Metro Louvre-Rivoli). There are always fashion-y types milling around (or stumbling around in their 6-inch heels), and it’s a good place to gawk and potentially catch a glimpse of some industry heavyweights.

For coffee and people-watching, hit up Café de Flore. It’s always a scene, but during Fashion Week, it’s a super scene. 5 € is pretty steep for an espresso, but for an espresso next to Karl Lagerfeld? Maybe worth it. (Note: Lagerfeld sighting not guaranteed).  For a cheaper and more mellow option, head to La Perle, where the fashion set congregates in the evening hours for low-key apéritifs.

Later, the action moves to various establishments run by the uber-trendy Costes brothers (Hotel CostesL’Avenue), and other nighttime hotspots like Le Montana, Le Baron and Le Régine. Disclaimer: If you’re not a fashion insider, it’s safe to say you probably won’t get into many of these establishments (at least, not this week). But if you’re determined, it’s worth a try. Bon courage!


Where the Action Isn’t

Everything from reservations at trendy restaurants to unoccupied taxis can be in short supply during Fashion Week. This makes it a good time to explore lesser-known spots, quiet bistros in your quartier, or that hole-in-the-wall café you’ve been eye-ing. You may make some unexpected discoveries.

Alternatively, throw an anti-fashion party chez vous (or in a fabulous vacation apartment)! Stock up on supplies from your local market, pick up some macarons and champagne, invite some friends over, and bask in the pleasure of being decidedly un-fashion.

To follow the action online, check out our friend Didier’s blog, and some of the big ones: The Sartorialist, Garance Doré, and Style Rookie.

Written by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Tory Hoen

Tory Henwood Hoen has been published by New York Magazine, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, Bon Appétit, Fortune, and others. She was Creative Director of Brand at M.M.LaFleur, where she founded the brand’s digital magazine, The M Dash. Her debut novel, The Arc, is available in bookshops near you and online.


  1. I guess I will be even more intimidated by Parisian Fashionistas…especially as I wear my puffy winter coat!

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